I have had the privilege of attending and working with thousands of auction dinners throughout North America for over 20 years. Some had several thousand attendees, while others only had fifty or so. The articles that follow are meant to give an overview of how successful auction dinners are conceived, planned and managed.
For anyone who wants a complete "Developing An Auction Dinner" package, complete with working manuals, workbooks, sample forms and PowerPoint presentations, visit my Festival and Event Planning website.
9. Great Food
They say that “the way to a man’s (woman’s) heart is through her/his stomach”. This is very true for holding a fundraising event. Make sure that the food being served is of top quality, is interesting and that there is plenty of it. If you are unsure of the quality, try to get a taste test and/or talk to others who have used the facility and get their opinion about the food and the service.
10. Complimentary Wine
While you don’t want drunks attending your event, people who have been “loosened” up a little with wine, make for a much more relaxed group. Relaxed people, enjoying themselves, are likely to spend more on the prizes being offered. Offering a reasonable amount of complimentary wine on each table can add to the enjoyment and success of your event. An additional benefit is that attendees feel that they getting value for their ticket price.
To add to the grandeur of the event, consider either valet parking or a shuttle service. These would be especially helpful if there was a large parking lot with space far away from the entrance or if the weather was inclement. Liability considerations may make these services unadvisable. If you do consider these, contact your insurance broker for advice.
(Part Three of this series, "Developing an Auction Dinner" will talk about Event Plan Implementation.)